Yesterday I jumped out of a perfectly good plane. No there was no threat to my life and I wasn’t on an impossible mission. The weeks leading up to yesterday had me in knots. I didn’t want to think about the insane nature of what I had committed myself to do.
I thought about telling Danni that I am afraid of heights, but that would have been a lie. Or was it? I couldn’t be sure. I do know that I am not afraid of theme park rides but they are hardly worthy comparisons.
I strategized accosting my GP and asking him to write me a note saying that I was not allowed to go. Unless of course he could guarantee, that in his medical opinion, I was at no risk at all of coronary failure while falling 15,000 feet to the earth.
I could have said no to Danni explaining as I stomped my foot with crossed arms “Because I don’t want to die”
In the end I did it although I was slightly terrified, mainly because several people told me I might die. My own mother, AKA she of little faith, had so much belief in my survival that she insisted that I write up my final Will and Testament.
Challenge accepted mum. I will jump out of plane and will not die.
After a two hour drive north, a quick breakfast and a much needed catch up, Danni and I signed a contract.
We freed the Sky diving company of any liability should the paper in the morning say ‘Two much loved Queensland girls found dead off the coast of Coolum’
Then I met my tandem diver, who’s name escapes me. I apologise for that but I was slightly freaking out as moments before I was busy in my mind formulating how I would write the end of this adventure. (Let’s just say there is a reason people carry on about my cliff-hangers on my little online fic.)
He fitted me with a kickass harness and talked me through acting like a banana as I exited the plane. He told me what to expect once out of the plane and my brain told me that is when I can expect to see my life whooshed past me one cloud at a time.
If I was a nail biter, my fingers would be corn cobbs.
Instead I was, in hindsight, far worse. I questioned the safety of leaving the plane door open. Never mind that these guys are complete professionals, maybe they just forgot to close it?
I asked the guy entrusted with my life to please tell me this wasn’t his first week on the job. “Eighteen years Claudia, Eighteen years” I think that was exactly what I needed to hear. It was almost like flashing his police badge, ‘Eighteen years’ ok dude you are the real thing.
I will just breathe now.
Once my feet dangled out of the plane, all was right with the world. The deafening sound of air at 15,000 feet was oddly peaceful. The 200km/hr free fall had me gasping for a few seconds as the rush of air and sight before me made me realise how many times I have misused the term ‘a breathtaking sight’.
I was flying.
I think my instructor said it best when he said ‘I like to think that this is why the birds sing’
It was all so surreal that I only noticed the harness digging into my skin when he asked me if it hurt. I couldn’t care less if it hurt; I was witnessing and floating through the most beautiful picture ever taken.
The experience was one I am not likely to forget any time soon, it was the most amount of fun humanly possible in the smallest amount of time.
My instructor did all the work and took care of my sarcastic nerves, allowing me to feel completely free and utterly exhilarated.
My life didn’t flash before my eyes.
I didn’t have a heart attack and learned that although a hairy eight legged creature has the power to make me hyperventilate, a 15,000 foot drop with gravity furiously saying come hither does not. Once the parachute was up, it was utter bliss.
If skydiving isn’t on your bucket list, I will give you a second to add it. You simply just must.
Below are few photos, yes I look funny but there was a lot of air blow drying my face at the time.
PS: If you are ever in Coolum, check out http://www.ramblers.com.au/BookingsJumpTickets/CoolumDropZone-454/
Writer, friend and onetime UFO. xo